Sure, Fuller House has its problems, but for the most part, it's a whole lot of fun, complete with wholesome story lines, friendly faces, a familiar laugh track, and catchphrases you've heard a million times. Watching Fuller House feels like a hug, impenetrable, warm and sometimes, a little uncomfortable.
That being said, I do take issue with one significant part of the show: Steve. Back in the '90s, I loved Steve. (Who didn't?) He was the perfect high school boyfriend, patient and kind and haplessly dimwitted. As far as first loves go, you can't do any better than the voice of Aladdin. When he and DJ went to prom together in the series finale, I audibly swooned in front of my television. I thought DJ and Steve were destined to be together. They were OTP, forever endgame.
Flash-forward 20 years, and my warm and fuzzies for Steve have started to turn into minor disgust. DJ and Steve didn't end up together after all. Instead, DJ married a handsome firefighter named Tommy Fuller, and they had three adorable sons. They lived a happy, prototypical life in San Francisco... before Tommy's untimely passing.
That tragedy is what sets up the events of Fuller House, where we catch up with Steve and DJ more than two decades after prom night. Steve is still hopelessly in love with DJ, a fact he won't let her forget. I'm not kidding. When viewers meet the now-adult Steve -- who's a local podiatrist and the owner of Comet Jr. Jr. -- he's telling DJ, "I should've just asked you to marry me at the prom."
Listen, Steve. This is a woman who lost her husband a little over a year ago and who is also making it very clear that she's not ready for anything serious, and yet you choose to tell her how much you regret your breakup? Not cool, dude. Slow down. This is suffocating behavior.
Steve is not just hungry anymore; he's thirsty AF, and he's thirsting for DJ. Fuller House makes it apparent from Episode 1 that DJ and Steve’s happily ever after is still very much a possibility, but I'm not entirely sure Steve deserves DJ. To be honest, his actions in the first season border on stalker-levels of creepiness, especially when DJ starts dating Matt Harmon, her boss's son and fellow veterinarian.
Matt is cute, like really, really cute (he was an underwear model, after all), so I wasn't surprised when DJ literally jumped into his arms for an impromptu make-out session. After their make-out, DJ realizes that she's ready to start dating again after 15 years, which is a serious step in her healing process. For his part, Matt is seemingly trying to take things with DJ as slow and respectful as possible. He's definitely taking things slower than Steve, who's still showing up unannounced at the Tanner house and at DJ's work like it's 1993 again. (He's not exactly the authority on tact and respect.)
But one of the things I really love about Matt is that he listens to DJ. When his father left the vet business to him, he knew it wasn't fair to DJ, who had been working there for over eight years. So he gave her half of his business. HALF. He didn't need to do that, but he did. He didn't need to move to San Francisco to try and make things work with Deej, but he did. And he didn't need to stick around after he found out DJ had kissed Steve after she kissed him, but he did. What sacrifices has Steve made lately, other than selfishly sacrificing DJ's own time?
Now, I still love Steve; I just think he's being annoying. One of the main reasons Steve's infatuation with DJ comes off as creepy instead of aww-worthy is that Steve has been holding this torch for over 20 years. That's a long time to pine for someone, and frankly, it's a little sad to think that Steve hasn't moved on from high school. Unless, you know, this is all just part of one, elaborate midlife crisis.
Fuller House spends much of of its 13 episodes laying the ground work for the love triangle that develops between DJ, Steve, and Matt. And in the end, DJ chose herself (and her she-wolf pack), and although it felt like a cop-out at the time, I was just happy she didn't choose Steve.
Steve's entire existence on the show is for the purpose of fan service; he's there to make Full House fans happy. And that's not a bad thing. Fuller House was built on a foundation of fan service, and nostalgia is its life blood. But pairing DJ with Steve just doesn't feel earned, at least not like it did in the '90s. Yes, Steve was great with DJ's kids, but it all feels too familiar and too safe. If you're stanning for Steve and DJ right now, I want you to ask yourself: what has Steve done in 2016 to deserve DJ's love and affection?
Matt, however, is an exciting new face for the franchise and someone who can add an err of ~ mystery ~ to Fuller House. After all, DJ needs a little unpredictability every once in a while, and the former underwear model seems like the right man for the job. He's nice, patient, and most importantly, passionate (within reason, unlike Fernando).
Sure, he and DJ don't have history, but isn't that kind of refreshing? We know that he loves DJ for who she is now, not who she was 20 years ago.